once (adverb, conjuction) LISTEN
If you do something once, it means that you do it one time.
- I tried it once but I didn’t like it.
- I go to the gym once a week.
We can use once to mean that something was true in the past.
- William Shakespeare once lived here.
We can also use once to say that something will only happen when another thing happens in the future.
- Once Sharon arrives, we can start the meeting. (=The meeting will start when Sharon arrives.)
When we do something sometimes, but not very often, we can say that we do it once in a while. For example: “Do you cycle to work?” “Not every day, but once in a while.”
Did you know?
Lots of children’s stories (the kind of stories about princesses and evil queens) start with the words, “Once upon a time…” It means that the story happened a long time ago.
In pop culture
Once Upon a Time is an American TV show. It has a lot of people from children’s stories in it, for example Snow White and Captain Hook. They all live in a place called Storybrooke, and they can’t leave because the evil queen wants everyone to stay there. Watch this ad for Once Upon a Time. Do you think the show is for adults or children?
There are other meanings of once.